This humidor is a wonderful and rare example of Fabergé's work in the neo-Russian style, which appeared in the late 19th to early 20th century and was rooted in Slavic and Byzantine traditions and design. It was the time of a rebirth of interest in Russia’s artistic heritage, which was particularly favoured by the wealthy merchant families of Moscow. Silversmiths in Fabergé's Moscow branch embraced this fashion for neo-Russian design, creating magnificent decorative and functional items like the present lot.
Fabergé started working closely with the Imperial Stroganov School in 1900, when the workshop won a gold medal at the Paris exhibition for its famous experimental ceramics. Artists at the Imperial Stroganov School innovated new glazes that often imitated other materials such as metal or gemstones. This technique can be seen on the lustrous body of the present lot.
Students from the Imperial Stoganov School trained at the Moscow branch, and if they qualified as professors, could increase their earnings by working on special commissions or creating their own designs and models for the firm. Lustre-glazed earthenware vases and pots, like the present lot, are among the workshop's most prominent pieces and exemplify the collaborative work of the Imperial Stroganov School and Fabergé's Moscow branch.
Ceramic objects with silver mounts by Fabergé's Moscow workshops are very rare. For similar lots see Christie's New York, 19 April 2002, lot 172 and Christie’s London, 28 May 2012, lot 255.